Ole Miss Gay Slurs: Football Players Being Investigated

    October 6, 2013
    Erika Watts
    Comments are off for this post.

Many people are calling for some Ole Miss football players to be suspended following the news that players made gay slurs during a school play on Tuesday. University of Mississippi officials apologized on Thursday for the “borderline hate speech” and are investigating the situation.

The anti-gay slurs occurred during a theater production of The Laramie Project, which is about the 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard. Garrison Gibbons, a student in the play, said that the atmosphere at the play was “radically different” and that gay slurs could be heard from the audience.

“They were laughing at lines that spoke in negative ways about gay people,” Gibbons said. Gibbons also said that he felt “an incredible amount of judgment and laughter” when his character in the play comes out as gay and even saw some people snapping pictures of him with their phones.

The football players involved apologized to the cast after the play, but Gibbons said that they didn’t find the apologies sincere. “One spoke up and said they were sorry and didn’t mean to hurt our feelings,” Gibbons said. “Another said they found humor in the play and then they were gone and the academic advisor who was with them basically said they had never been to a play before and didn’t know what to expect.”

The University of Mississippi condemned the behavior in an open letter issued on Thursday:

While we work to determine with certainty who disrupted the Laramie Project play, we want everyone within our university community and beyond to know that we strongly condemn the behavior exhibited Tuesday night. As a member of the Ole Miss family, each of us has a responsibility to be accountable for our actions, and these individuals will be held accountable. Our investigation will determine the degree to which any and all students were involved.

Do you think the football players should be suspended or kicked off the team for using gay slurs? Respond below.

Head coach Hugh Freeze also said condemned the gay slurs on Twitter.

The situation has outraged many people, including FOX Sports’ Clay Travis. “I love the South, it’s my home and always will be my home, but I hate ignorance much more than I love the South. And we have way too much ignorance down here, always have,” Travis said. Travis went on to say that if Ole Miss doesn’t take action against the players, then the SEC needs to.

Image via Twitter


    Freedom to speak is not just for queers. This individuals which also included many first year freshmen that had nothing to do with the football team should be praised for standing up for what the believe in and not having gay pride forced upon them. The play should be banned from campus and all queers in this country should be forced back into a closet. Dont believe in it and I would have mocked them at the play if in the same situation.

  • L. Joe Shorter

    No I do not think they should be suspended. I do think members of the audience who participated in making negative comments should undergo some sort of information/social understanding/awareness seminar or counseling. It is a huge responsibility to represent the university 24/7. However, the door swings both ways. When that young athlete makes a mistake on the field, his peers need to be supportive and not make negative comments about his playing ability. I do not think this needs to be blown out of proportion and I believe it is a matter to be handled within the university community itself. Common sense does not always abound among older teens/young adults. They are still learning and the college experience itself requires that young people/traditional students define their personal beliefs at the same time realizing that they are responsible or accountable for their thoughts, words and actions.

  • http://www.hawaiianshirtguys.com billy cigar

    when you miss my check this year, you’ll know how I feel

    I am so embarrassed at the reaction of the football team

    ill spend it elsewhere ………….

    angry alumni

  • r.terrell lowe

    We all offer negative comments at one time or other, however I do not think my personal comment is representative of my peer group. I have an opinion! So do all others, so why lump me, or my alumni or my sex, or for that matter any sociological peer group, as an opinion of banal quaility?

  • jack

    I actually have a lot of sympathy for gay people, it must be tough wrestling with you identity and having your family accept it.

    But to have people laugh and take pictures during a play, unheard of.

    There used to be an old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me”, it looks like it has to be revised—or discarded entirely. So, the students don’t have a right to their opinion, or at least had better “keep it in the closet”.

    I have had been around homo’s a bit, my wife had a good friend that was and we went out with the pair of them several times, one of them died from Aids, I really have to try to avoid thinking of some of the things involved, but they were OK with me as long as they didn’t make any moves and they didn’t.

    I DO think it is wrong to make heroes of people coming out of the closet, I think it might cause a lot of young people that are struggling with their identity and may be influenced to make wrong decisions.